Dec 20 | SPEED™ Kicks Off 2013 Sprint Cup Series Season with 21 Hours of Live Testing from Daytona

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In just three short weeks, SPEED and SPEED.com will be live from the high banks of Daytona International Speedway when Preseason Thunder kicks off the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season.

Preseason Thunder
In just three short weeks, SPEED and SPEED.com will be live from the high banks of Daytona International Speedway when Preseason Thunder kicks off the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season.

SPEED and SPEED.com offer live coverage of the Jan. 10-12 test session in its entirety with SPEED live from all afternoon sessions and SPEED.com streaming all morning sessions.  

Darrell Waltrip, a NASCAR on FOX and SPEED analyst who will cover Daytona testing for SPEED, says he will be watching for parity among the manufacturers with the new Cup Series race car. Waltrip points out that the new car, given its current uncertainties, potentially could tip the scale in favor of one manufacturer over another, at least temporarily.  

“With the new rules, there are no guarantees these cars will be equal,” Waltrip said.  “They’ve been tested in the wind tunnel and they’ve been aerodynamically matched up the best they can, but there is no guarantee these cars will all be equal.  When you look at the variances in the bodies this year compared to the past, one manufacturer could wind up with a huge advantage at Daytona, and that’s something NASCAR will be keeping an eye on at the test.”  

John Roberts, Jeff Hammond and Matt Clark host SPEED’s on-air coverage from the studio above pit road at the start/finish line at Daytona.  Steve Byrnes calls the on-track action during the morning sessions (9 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET) on SPEED.com alongside analysts Kyle Petty and Kenny Wallace, while Hermie Sadler and Wendy Venturini handle reporting duties.  Rick Allen assumes the play-by-play chair for the afternoon sessions (1-3 p.m. ET and 3-5 p.m. ET) while the NASCAR on FOX and SPEED crew of Waltrip and Larry McReynolds take over the TV booth duties.  Bob Dillner and Matt Yocum report from pit road and the garage.

SPEED invites fans to submit questions and comments through Twitter @SPEED (http://www.twitter.com/speed) using the #daytonatesting hashtag during the test sessions to be answered on-air and on Twitter.  In addition, special driver chat sessions will be held after testing is complete on Thursday night on Daytona’s Twitter and Facebook pages (www.twitter.com/disupdates and www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).

Special editions of NASCAR Race Hub will air Jan. 10-11 at 6 p.m. ET from Daytona to recap all the on- and off-track action.  Furthermore, NASCAR Race Hub offers new episodes from the SPEED Studios Jan. 21-24 at 6 p.m. ET during the week of the Charlotte Motor Speedway Sprint Media Tour. The program’s 2013 season premiere is slated for Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. ET (Monday-Thursdays at 6 p.m. ET).

Additionally, SPEED Center, hosted by Adam Alexander, continues to keep fans updated on all things across the motor sports world, beginning with its 2013 premiere on Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. ET.  

SPEED schedule for Daytona testing (all times Eastern and live):

Thursday, Jan. 10
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (SPEED.com)
1 p.m. - 5 p.m.  (SPEED)
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. (SPEED encore of 3-5 p.m. session)

Friday, Jan. 11
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (SPEED.com)
1 p.m. - 5 p.m. (SPEED)
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. (SPEED encore of 3-5 p.m. session)

Saturday, Jan. 12
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (SPEED.com)
1 p.m. - 5 p.m. (SPEED)
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. (SPEED encore of 3-5 p.m. session)

About SPEED™
SPEED, anchored by its popular and wide-ranging coverage of NASCAR, is the nation’s first and only cable television network dedicated to automotive and motorcycle racing, performance and lifestyle. Now available in nearly 86 million homes in North America, SPEED, a member of the FOX Sports Media Group, is among the industry leaders in interactive TV, video on demand, mobile initiatives and broadband services, including SPEED2, a groundbreaking new broadband network featuring live, streaming and on-demand events complementing offerings of the linear network. For more information, please visit SPEED.com, the online motor sports authority and follow us on Twitter: @SPEED.

About FOX Sports Media Group
FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) is the umbrella entity representing News Corporation’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets.  Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FSMG includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships.  FSMG includes FOX Sports, the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; Fox’s 20 regional sports networks, their affiliated regional web sites and FSN national programming; SPEED and SPEED2; FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer 2Go; FUEL TV; FOX Deportes and FOX College Sports.  In addition, FSMG also encompasses FOX Sports Interactive Media, which includes FOXSports.com on MSN, Whatifsports.com Scout.com and Yardbarker.com.  Also included in the Group are Fox’s interests in joint-venture businesses Big Ten Network, BTN 2Go and STATS, LLC, as well as licensing agreements that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network and FOX Sports Skybox restaurants.

Dec 20 | Start Times Finalized For Budweiser Speedweeks 2013 Events

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For the fourth straight year, the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24, NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race, is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start time (TV – FOX Sports, Radio – MRN Radio).

DAYTONA 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For the fourth straight year, the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24, NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race, is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start time (TV – FOX Sports, Radio – MRN Radio).

Start times for the other remaining events of Budweiser Speedweeks 2013 at Daytona International Speedway are as follows:

•    The 51st anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race, Jan. 26-27, 3:30 p.m. (SPEED)
•    The Lucas Oil 200 ARCA Racing Series, Saturday, Feb. 16, 4:30 p.m. (SPEED)
•    The Daytona Shootout  non-points event, Saturday, Feb. 16, 8 p.m. (FOX)
•    Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, Sunday, Feb. 17, 1 p.m. (FOX)
•    Budweiser Duel At Daytona, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2 p.m. (SPEED)
•    NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Friday, Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m. (SPEED)
•    DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Saturday, Feb. 23, 1 p.m. (ESPN)

Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski will begin his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title defense in the season-opening 55th annual Daytona 500, which will mark the debut of the new 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. Dubbed “Gen 6,” the new-look sixth generation cars highlight greater brand identity for the manufacturers.

Matt Kenseth, who won the 2012 Daytona 500 with Roush Fenway Racing, will attempt to be the first driver since Sterling Marlin (1994-1995) to win “The Great American Race” for a second straight year with his new team Joe Gibbs Racing.

Tickets for NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race – the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24 – start at $65 and are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

For the second straight year, the Speedway is offering special youth pricing for the Daytona 500.  Children 12 and under will receive 50 percent off all backstretch grandstand seats for the Daytona 500 while supplies last. In addition, children 12 and under are free in the Sprint FANZONE throughout Budweiser Speedweeks.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter (@NASCAR) and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR and #DAYTONA500 and #NASCARBattle.  In addition, fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest for all the latest news all season long.

Dec 14 | Three-Day ARCA Racing Series Test Kicks Off

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Approximately 50 drivers kicked off a three-day ARCA Racing Series test session on Friday at Daytona International Speedway in advance of the 50th annual Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 on Saturday, Feb. 16, part of Budweiser Speedweeks 2013.

ARCA

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Approximately 50 drivers kicked off a three-day ARCA Racing Series test session on Friday at Daytona International Speedway in advance of the 50th annual Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 on Saturday, Feb. 16, part of Budweiser Speedweeks 2013.

The season-opening ARCA race is celebrating its golden anniversary in 2013. The inaugural Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 back in 1964 was the series’ first superspeedway race in history.

Headlining the list of drivers in attendance for the test is the defending race winner Bobby Gerhart, a native of Lebanon, Penn., who pours his heart and soul into preparing for races at Daytona.

Gerhart has dominated the season-opening ARCA race, capturing a record eight victories in the 80-lap, 200-mile event, including six out of the last eight races.

He also holds an event-record four poles.

But with all that success, he’s just as hungry to win a ninth Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200.

“I’m pumped up to race here just like I was the first day I came,” Gerhart said. “We treat this race like we have not won any of them. That’s really what you have to do. You got to put yourself in position where you throw everything at it you can and work as hard as you can.”

Light rain slowed the morning session on Friday but teams got plenty of track time in the afternoon. At the lunch break, Gerhart was anxious to see where the field stood in terms of speed.

“I’m not going to be quiet about it, we’ve done a lot of work given the new rules package,” Gerhart said. “I’m anxious for some great weather and a great opportunity to see if what I believe is going to happen happens.”

Clay Campbell making his dream come true: Clay Campbell, president of the prestigious Martinsville Speedway, is taking his first laps around Daytona International Speedway’s legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval during this weekend’s test.

Campbell is testing a Spraker Racing Ford with a Roush Yates engine and plans to enter the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200.

“I’ve been doing various types of racing for 20 years and if you had the opportunity to do something bigger, I think anybody would jump at the chance,” Campbell said. “Anybody that would have the opportunity to run Daytona, you would be crazy not to. The history, the tradition, this is the ultimate as far as motorsports goes.

“This is obviously hallowed ground. This is the ‘World Center of Racing.’ Who wouldn’t want to drive on the World Center of Racing.’ ”

Campbell is working with racing veteran Jeff Spraker, who has been fielding cars for Campbell the past two seasons in the NASCAR K&N Pro East Series. The two began discussing the opportunity of racing an ARCA event at a superspeedway.

Campbell competed in the fall ARCA event at Talladega Superspeedway and is ready to tackle NASCAR’s most storied venue Daytona International Speedway in February.

“That was a good place to start,” Campbell of Talladega where he started 34th and finished 26th. “Even though (Daytona and Talladega) look the same and they are almost the same, there’s quite a bit of difference. This is much narrower than Talladega.”

During Budweiser Speedweeks, Campbell will be focused and prepared for his Daytona debut, but he won’t forget to promote his upcoming NASCAR race schedule.

“We’ll announce a sponsor later but anytime I have the chance to mention the Virginia 500 on April 7 at Martinsville Speedway, I am going to do so,” Campbell joked. “Good tickets still remain.”

Road to Daytona: Four drivers who achieved success in the three ARCA touring series in the 2012 season are experiencing the opportunity of a lifetime during this weekend’s test.

Johnny VanDoorn, Travis Braden, Jonathan Eilen and Dakota Carlson are participating in the test session having earned spots in the second-year "Road to Daytona" program.

“It was pretty cool just to say some day that I got to go around Daytona,” said Carlson after his first laps on Friday morning. “Us short track racers, we’re never going to make it to this level more than likely. It definitely sits you down in the seat when you go into the corner.

“It was a really cool feeling.”

 The “Road to Daytona” program gives competitors from nearly all divisions of ARCA competition the opportunity for seat time at Daytona.

VanDoorn, 24 and of Coopersville, Mich., is now a three-time ARCA CRA Super Series champion and won the 2012 title for Kaos Motorsports. Braden, 18 and of Wheeling, W.V., is the 2012 Super Series Rookie of the Year.

Eilen, 27 and of Hampton, Minn., won the 2012 Midwest Tour championship five years after becoming the series' first race winner. Carlson, 25 and of Cedar Springs, Mich., won the ARCA Gold Cup Series championship, contested at ARCA-owned Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways, as well as Spartan (Mich.) Speedway.

Andy Hillenburg, a two-time Daytona winner and the 1995 ARCA champion, is assisting each Road to Daytona driver in the test session. His Fast Track High Performance Driving School, ARCA's Official Driving School, is providing the cars and support for the test.

“The first time that I came here to drive at Daytona myself, I didn’t even have a van ride around the track,” Hillenburg said. “I had not even been on the race track and here it was go out and run 195 mph. That was over 20 years ago. That’s the way it was.

“Now these kids can be a lot better driver and prepared to capitalize on the opportunities they get and make better racing for all of us.”

The three-day ARCA test continues through Sunday. A section of the Oldfield Grandstands will be open free to the public with access available through the lobby of the Daytona International Speedway ticket office.

Tickets for NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race – the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24 – are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter (@NASCAR) or ARCA (@ARCA_Racing) and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR, #DAYTONA500, #CokeZero400 and #NASCARBattle.  In addition, fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, FacebookGoogle+ and Pinterest for all the latest news all season long.

Dec 13 | Get Your Motor Running for This Year’s Taste of the 24

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Racing enthusiasts from around the world and local residents alike will converge on Daytona International Speedway on January 26, 2013 for the fourth-annual Taste of the 24.

Taste of the 24

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. – Racing enthusiasts from around the world and local residents alike will converge on Daytona International Speedway on January 26, 2013 for the fourth-annual Taste of the 24. The event, which benefits The NASCAR Foundation and the Daytona State College Foundation, features a unique blend of food from 24 of the area’s finest restaurants, a cigar bar, live jazz, and a chance to win a Rolex watch.

Taste of the 24 will take place in the Backstretch Grandstand Corporate Suites on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. during the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. 

“Taste of the 24 is a great opportunity to support local charities while enjoying outstanding food from 24 of our area’s finest restaurants during the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. The suites high atop Daytona’s backstretch provide a superb view for fine dining as well as all the drama that unfolds during North America’s premier endurance sports car race.

Tickets are $95 per person and include premier event parking, Taste of the 24 event admission, a weekend pass to the Rolex 24 at Daytona with Sprint FANZONE access and a chance to win a Rolex watch. Tickets for children 12 and under may be purchased at the door for $24.  Seating will be limited.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit nascar.com/unites, call (386) 310-5742 or email the Foundation: mfurr@nascarfoundation.com

About Daytona International Speedway

Known as the “World Center of Racing,” Daytona International Speedway has activity nearly every day of the year hosting stock cars, sports cars, motorcycles and karts.  Daytona International Speedway has at least eight major race weekends a year with premier events such as the DAYTONA 500, the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Independence Day holiday weekend, the Rolex 24 At Daytona sports car event, the Daytona Supercross By Honda and the Daytona 200 motorcycle classic. In addition, Daytona International Speedway showcases daily track tours and is home to the winning Daytona 500 car.

About The NASCAR Foundation

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing Inc., (NASCAR) launched The NASCAR Foundation in January 2006. The foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit entity that embodies the compassion of the NASCAR family and its commitment to serving communities. The NASCAR Foundation seeks to raise funds and increase volunteerism to support nonprofit charities and charitable causes throughout the nation with an emphasis placed on initiatives that affect the ability of children to live, learn and play. For more information on The NASCAR Foundation, please visit the website: NASCAR.COM/foundation. Follow The NASCAR Foundation on www.facebook.com/NASCARFoundation or on Twitter: @NASCAR_FDN.

About Daytona State College

For more than five decades, Daytona State College has provided a path for thousands of people from all walks of life to reach their dreams. Whether to earn their college degree, prepare for new careers or advance in their jobs, students choose from 100 programs, including bachelor’s and associate degrees and certificates. Daytona State alumni are health-care workers, teachers, public safety officers,  business owners and managers,  technologists and many other skilled professionals. The Daytona State College Foundation’s mission is to provide financial assistance to students and funding for critical needs that are beyond the scope of the college’s budget. Visit us on the web, www.DaytonaState.edu, on Facebook and Twitter or call (386) 506-3000.

Dec 10 | UNOH Battle At The Beach Trophies Unveiled At NASCAR Home Tracks Award Ceremonies

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The winner’s trophies for the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach on Feb. 18-19 were unveiled this past weekend during the NASCAR Touring and Weekly Series Award Ceremonies.

UNOH Trophies

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The winner’s trophies for the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach on Feb. 18-19 at Daytona International Speedway were unveiled this past weekend during the NASCAR Touring and Weekly Series Award Ceremonies in Charlotte, NC. 

Competitors got their first-look at the hardware during the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Grand Champions Ceremony on Friday and the Touring Grand Champions Ceremony on Saturday at the Grand Ballroom at The Westin. The trophies were also on display during the Award Ceremonies at the Charlotte Convention Center’s Crown Ballroom at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach is part of Budweiser Speedweeks 2013 and will feature two days of racing headlined by three non-points special events in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, NASCAR Whelen Modified tours and the Late Model division of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

To pay tribute to Daytona’s racing heritage, the trophies for the UNOH Battle At The Beach were designed to reflect those presented to race winners during the days of racing on the beach. Beach racing began in the 1930’s and ran until 1958.

The original 3.2-mile road course had the North Turn located near the center of town. The course ran approximately 1.5-miles north on the beach and then 1.5-miles south on a paved roadway with the two portions connected by banked sand turns.

A complete UNOH Battle At The Beach schedule, including gate opening times, practice and qualifying race times for both days, is available at the UNOH Battle At The Beach event page.

Tickets for the UNOH Battle At The Beach, along with all other Budweiser Speedweeks 2013 events, can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter (@NASCAR) and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR and #DAYTONA500 and #NASCARBattle. In addition, fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest for all the latest news all season long.

Dec 05 | Tickets for the 2013 Preseason Thunder Fan Fest Go On-Sale Monday, Dec. 10

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Race fans can purchase tickets for the annual Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway beginning on Monday, Dec. 10 at 9 a.m.

Preseason Thunder

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Race fans can purchase tickets for the annual Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway beginning on Monday, Dec. 10 at 9 a.m.

The stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will take to the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval at Daytona International Speedway for three days of testing on Thursday, Jan. 10 through Saturday, Jan. 12 in advance of the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24.

The test sessions mark the first time the new 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars, which highlight greater brand identity for the manufacturers, will turn laps on Daytona International Speedway’s 2.5-mile tri-oval. Dubbed “G6,” the new-look sixth generation cars will conduct test sessions between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day, weather permitting. Each session includes a lunch break from noon until 1 p.m.

The Preseason Thunder Fan Fest is scheduled on Thursday night, Jan. 10 and will include autograph sessions, driver fan forums, show cars and displays, music and a photo opportunity with the 2013 Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 trophy.

Tickets for Daytona Preseason Thunder Fan Fest are $20 on Thursday and $10 for Friday and Saturday and are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. Children 12 and under will receive free admission.

Preseason Thunder ticket holders receive free tent camping inside Turns 3 & 4 for all three days of testing and fans can also watch each day’s testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands.

Advanced reservations are available (limited availability) for the autograph sessions by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com. Among the autograph wristbands available in advance include 2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, Danica Patrick and past Daytona 500 champions. Wristbands for additional driver autograph sessions will be available the day of the event.

Among the drivers scheduled to appear on Thursday, Jan. 10 during the 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. session are Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Tony Stewart, Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Burton, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kurt Busch, Mark Martin.

In the 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. session, among the drivers appearing include 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, 2012 Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick, Aric Almirola, Carl Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Clint Bowyer, Marcos Ambrose, Joey Logano, David Ragan, David Gilliland, Paul Menard, Kyle Busch, Bobby Labonte and Casey Mears.

The Roar Before The Rolex 24, the tune-up session for the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge teams in advance of the 51st anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, is scheduled for Jan. 4-6.  Ticketholders for the 2013 Rolex 24 At Daytona will be admitted free for testing.

Tickets for both the Preseason Thunder and the Roar Before The Rolex 24 will be available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Tickets for NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race – the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24 –are also available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fans can follow NASCAR on Twitter (@NASCAR) and stay up to speed on the latest news by using hashtags #NASCAR, #DAYTONA500, #CokeZero400 and #NASCARBattle.  In addition, fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest for all the latest news all season long.

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